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Who Should Take the August SAT or September ACT?

Believe it or not, it's already time to start thinking ahead to late summer and fall testing even though summer just got started. 

Many learned a hard lesson this summer when in June they went to the ACT site to register for the July 16 test and their high school student couldn't find an open seat within two hours from home. Not acting early can put the student behind, create a less than ideal testing timeline, and add stress.

So who should act quickly to grab a seat for

the August SAT or September ACT?

Rising Seniors

If planning to apply to college this fall, many early action deadlines tied to merit scholarships have a submit date by November 1 for full scholarship consideration. 

This means the final ACT date that would meet this deadline for full scholarship consideration is Saturday, September 10. Those scores should be back to students before October. The next available test date is not until October 22 and will leave seniors without scores before many deadlines. 

Seniors should take the September ACT test if they...

  • Have not yet tested at least twice on the ACT or SAT
  • Have not hit the median ACT or SAT score for the colleges they wish to apply to
  • Desire to have one more try before submitting applications

Which Rising Juniors Should Take the September ACT...

  1. Do you still need to take algebra 1 & 2 as well as geometry?
  2. Have you tested at least two times?
  3. Are you a top scorer and confident you can't do better?
  4. Are you certain of your college list and that your scores are at or above the average for students previously admitted?
  5. Are you looking forward to a non-busy, easy junior year?
  6. Are you 100% certain all of your colleges will be test optional and they embrace test optional? (You can read more about Test Optional in our previous post.) 

If NO is the answer to the junior questions, then these two late summer test dates might be ideal for rising juniors if...

  • They won't be on vacation
  • Summer plans also allow time for appropriate prep
  • Preparation for fall sports is not in full swing

The good news is there are plenty more test dates up until the submission of college applications if last summer is a busy season. 

For those on the fence of what an ideal testing timeline is, our next ACT-SAT Planning Workshop can provide clarity on the junior timeline for testing and much more. Learn more here.  Test prep options with guaranteed results are here. 


ACT Dates for 2023-24 (Registration typically opens in July)

  • September 9
  • October 28
  • December 9
  • February 10
  • April 13
  • June 8
  • July 13

SAT Dates for 2023-24 

  • August 26
  • October 7
  • November 4
  • December 2
  • March 9
  • May 4
  • June 1


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